Celebrating Best of British for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Like many others across the UK, we are busy prepping for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend in June, choosing our tea dresses and planning our picnic. The long weekend will be celebrated the length and breadth of the country by people gorging on finger food and drinking tea, gin and Pimms. In truth, there is nothing quite as quintessentially British as tiered plates crammed with tiny sandwiches and cakes.
At Hepburn & Hughes we have a passion for delving into the UK’s rich history of invention and creation, taking unusual products that tell the story of our nation and upcycling them using sterling silver to produce wearable pieces of memorabilia – the perfect accessories to complete your Jubilee ensemble.
Perfect jewellery for afternoon tea
Our Clarice Cliff jewellery and cufflinks provide a perfect pop of colour for your summer outfit this coming Jubilee weekend. Using broken pieces of Clarice Cliff pottery from the Bizarre Living Landscapes collection of ceramics, we wrap shards and fragments of Clarice Cliff plates in sterling silver to produce elegant pendants, earrings, rings and cufflinks (see pic above).
Clarice Cliff’s quirky designs depict landscape scenes, including cottages, windmills, bridges and trees, painted in vibrant colours that were well ahead of their time.
Clarice Cliff celebrates her centenary this year as 2022 marks 100 years since the moment her skills were recognised by the pottery bosses and she was given the chance to create designs of her own, paving the way for female artists to follow in her wake.
The Spitfire Collection
What could be more British than the Spitfire – the magnificent aircraft that led us to victory in WWII. As a nation we feel a connection to the legacy of this iconic machine, to what it meant for our forebears and what they sacrificed for our freedom. The UK would be a very different place now without their sacrifice.
To make our popular Spitfire cufflinks, we source sections of Spitfire – often from the fuselage, its thin skin well suited to craft into elegant pieces of jewellery. Sections are cut into 15mm squares before being wrapped in sterling silver and fitted with a high quality T-bar to create our popular Spitfire cufflinks.
The first Spitfire was built in 1936 and was in production until 1952. Its thin wings gave it unprecedented speed and agility in the air, making it one of the UK’s most famous and recognisable aircraft of all time.
Its camouflage colours and unique markings were largely brown (called dark earth) and dark green, with half the underside of the wing painted white to aid identification from the ground. The RAF roundel was also emblazoned on the side, its red, white and blue concentric circles visible from miles away.
New to our Spitfire Collection are our lovely Spitfire pendant and ring, meaning both men and women have the chance to wear a little piece of history. Other notable WW2 memorabilia has been used to make our WW2 cufflinks, including the Lancaster Bomber and the Hurricane.
Shop our WW2 Cufflinks collection.
The Nautical Jewellery Collection – HMS Victory and Cutty Sark
Using original parts from the historic warship HMS Victory and the famous clipper ship Cutty Sark, our naval cufflinks and jewellery are part of one of our most sought-after collections. Oak and copper salvaged during HMS Victory's restoration in the 1980s was auctioned off to raise money for ongoing maintenance.
Our HMS Victory cufflinks, pictured above, are now joined with an HMS Victory pendant and ring, allowing anyone to own and wear a piece of important naval history. The woodgrain is clearly visible, coated with a very thin layer of varnish that protects the wood and keeps the pieces in tiptop condition for years to come.
The Cutty Sark, also used to make cufflinks, was once the fastest ship of its day, and is now a museum in London. Various restoration projects over the years have enabled material from the copper hull, as well as other wooden elements, to be retrieved and sold off to fund future repairs. We bought some at auction to make our range of copper and wood Cutty Sark cufflinks.
Houses of Parliament jewellery
What better way to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee than by wearing a piece of political history on your sleeve or round your neck.
The Palace of Westminster, as it’s officially known, was first built in 1016, and rebuilt between 1840-1870 after being destroyed by fire. Despite its sandy appearance, the stone is in fact limestone from the Anston Quarry in Yorkshire, chosen for ease of carving and the availability of large slabs.
(Image: Arlingstone, Wikimedia)
London’s most iconic building was damaged by a German air raid on 10th May 1941, when it was hit by at least twelve bombs. The subsequent renovation removed the damaged sections and replaced them. The stone was used to make ashtrays, urns and bookends, and any money raised by their sale contributed to the Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross and St John fund, which helped the sick and wounded.
We acquired a pair of bookends, and have used the stone to make our popular Houses of Parliament cufflinks, and new this year is our Houses of Parliament necklace. The thin, elegant shape of the pendant has a double rim, and it comes with a complimentary chain. The pale sandy colour of the stone encapsulated in shining sterling silver looks brilliant with a breezy summer dress, a white floaty top or a smart shirt.
Celebrating the Sixpence coin
The Sixpence coin, also known as the tanner, was first minted in 1551 during the reign of Edward VI, and then during every monarch’s reign since. Some coins bore the monarch’s head, such as Edward VI and Queen Victoria, with designs changing over the centuries.
The final design of the sixpence coin was produced in 1953 with a new design for Elizabeth II, with a floral image on the reverse by Edgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas to represent the four nations of the UK.
The coins used in our Sixpence Coin cufflinks were minted between the years of 1956 and 1967, and are wrapped in a circular frame of 925 sterling silver, with a high quality T-bar on the back. These antique cufflinks are perfect for history lovers, and are absolutely spot on for a sharp Jubilee shirt.
Blue John jewellery
Our Blue John jewellery is made from the stunning Blue John gemstone found in just one place in the world – in Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff cavern beneath the stunning Derbyshire village of Castleton.
Also known as Derbyshire Spar, the stone’s trademark purple and blue bands create intrigue and visual interest, and was created 250 million years ago.
Our popular Blue John Tree of Life pendant is particularly striking, combining the age-old semi-precious mineral with the tree of life, the universal symbol of ancestry, fertility, individuality, growth, rebirth and peace.
Preseli Stone Cufflinks – the stone used to build Stonehenge
Stonehenge is something of a wonderful mystery, an ethereal Druid construction in the picturesque southern county of Wiltshire in the UK. Despite being constructed in two stages during the Stone Age and Bronze Age, the Preseli Bluestone which forms the smaller stones comes from Wales, 140 miles away in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. No one knows how it was brought there, only adding to the enigmatic edifice of the ancient stone circle.
This is your chance to own some of that very stone – our Preseli Bluestone cufflinks are the perfect backdrop to highlight the grey and blue tones of the stone, and are a great gift for Welsh friends and loved ones, as well as anyone who loves a mystery. Wrapped in sterling silver allowing the stone to take the limelight.
Shop our Preseli Bluestone cufflinks here.
Britain’s best-loved computer – ZX Spectrum cufflinks
Launched in the UK in 1982 and has become an icon in its own right. We are breathing new life into this much-loved piece of computing history, using the circuit board as well as the keys of a broken, unusable ZX, immortalising the components to craft these cufflinks that make the perfect for a computer geek. The ZX Spectrum was discontinued after 10 years, making these computers harder and harder to find.
Exploring our Best of British collection, you may just find that perfect accessory for you, or for the perfect gift for your special someone. We are running a 20% off sale to mark the occasion, so shop before the 27th May at 2pm and use code Jubilee at the checkout to apply the discount.
Whatever you choose to wear for your Jubilee celebrations, we hope you have a wonderful bank holiday weekend.
Louise & Zoe x